Hundreds of mourners attended a wake for the NJ teen who was killed while on a double decker party bus. Last Friday, Queens resident Daniel Fernandez, 17, had stuck his head out of an emergency hatch when he struck the underside of an overpass on I-95 in Fort Lee, New Jersey. His friends told NBC New York, "We went from dancing and singing to, like, 'Oh, my God, what just happened?'" and "He knew right from wrong, and I just really don't know what possessed him to do that... [He] wasn't a stupid kid."
Fernandez and his friends were headed to a friend's Sweet 16 party in NJ, and the teens were discussing getting "sauced" and Fernandez even Tweeted asking friends if "they [were] checking on the bus?" A monitor for the bus said previously that he repeatedly warned the teens not to open the hatch, which is federally required in emergencies, but Fernandez stuck his head out when the monitor went downstairs to talk to the driver.
Fernandez's grandmother fainted during the wake and required oxygen. Fernandez's casket was closed, due to his injuries; his parents told the Daily News, "It's difficult. We are handling it the best we can." And a work colleague of the grieving teen's mother said, "They were just kids having fun. It was a crazy thing to do, but think of all the crazy things you did as a kid."
One of his St. Francis Prep teachers told the AP, "He was an adorable, low-key kid, with a sweet smile. Kids loved him; he had lots of friends and was popular with the girls," adding, "Sometimes kids don't recognize their own mortality."